Seeking the Next Generation of Leadership for Ward Church
Each year Ward Church undergoes the important task of choosing officers for the church new year. The Nominating Committee invites our congregation members to submit recommendations for Elders, Deacons, Trustees, and Nominating Committee at this time.
Our selection of officers is confirmed through the following process:
- The Nominating Committee selects candidates after much prayer and discussion. The committee welcomes written suggestions from the congregation during its deliberations.
- The candidates evaluate themselves and their sense of call. But the candidate’s sense of call alone is not enough.
- The current ruling session must examine candidates for the office of Elder and Deacon.
- The congregation must confirm the selection by voting for the candidates at the Annual Congregational Meeting in June.
As you can see, the process of officer selection is accomplished with much prayer, thought and consideration.
There are three “offices” in a church with a Presbyterian form of government: Teaching Elders (pastors), Ruling Elders, and Deacons. Teaching and Ruling Elders are known as Presbyters and share in the governing of the church. They form the Board of Elders, also known as the Session. In addition to these offices, Ward Church also has a Board of Trustees. The Board of Trustees oversees the facilities and finances of the church.
Our Nominating Committee is currently seeking qualified candidates for the following positions: Elder, Deacon, Trustee, and Nominating Committee. Church membership is required for all of these positions. Ward members and attendees are encouraged to submit names of qualified candidates for consideration. Nominations will be open through February 29, 2020.
Before you submit a recommendation, please read these descriptions to gain an in-depth understanding of what type of individual is best-suited for each position.
OVERVIEW OF THE OFFICE OF ELDER
The ministry of the elders is one of spiritual oversight. The New Testament is clear that the church is to be led by a plurality of godly leaders under the oversight and watch care of elders. The elders are given ultimate responsibility and authority to see that the church remains on a true course biblically, that its members are being appropriately shepherded, that the body is being fed through insightful and accurate biblical teaching, and that the life of the church is being well managed with the assistance of other competent and godly leaders. They are to care about the spiritual and physical well-being of members, regularly praying for the sick. They are to guard the body against harmful influences, confronting those who are contradicting biblical truth or who are continuing in patterns of sinful behavior (1 Peter 5:1-4; Acts 20:28-31; Titus 1:9; James 5:14).
In response to the biblical pattern of leadership, members of the body are taught in Scripture to lovingly support their leaders and submit to their leadership (Hebrews 13:17; 1 Thess. 5:12-13).
Keep in mind that the elders of Ward function primarily as discerners and shepherds. They serve as the conscience and guardians of the church. Our elders are not expected to oversee specific projects or ministry areas in their capacity as elders. Instead, they function as overseers for the entire church. Elders evaluate everything taking place in the church according to three criteria:
- Our mission.
- Our resources.
- Our doctrine.
Ward elders do not determine programming. This responsibility falls to the volunteer leadership teams and staff members. However, the elders are responsible for evaluating programming based on its appropriateness and effectiveness in furthering the overall mission of the church.
QUALIFICATIONS FOR ELDER
Candidates will be required to meet the qualifications outlined in 1 Timothy 3 and Titus 1:5-9. But we are looking for more than spiritual qualifications. We are looking for men and women who have embraced the mission and vision of Ward, people who are investing in the lives of unbelievers, and who are active in the life of our church. We are looking for elders who:
- Have their hand on the pulse of the congregation
- Have their hand on the pulse of the Holy Spirit and the Scriptures
- Have their hand on the pulse of the culture
Spiritual gifts helpful for this office include:
The following description is from the Book of Government of the Evangelical Presbyterian Church:
THE LIFE OF THE RULING ELDER (Book Of Government 10.5)
According to the Scripture, those who bear this office should exhibit certain characteristics of life. This includes being blameless in life, sound in doctrine, wise in the things of God, and discreet in all things. Persons who fill this office should exhibit a lifestyle that is an example to all, both in and outside the Church. A congregation preparing to elect persons to this holy office should carefully study the appropriate passages of Scripture relating to the Ruling Elder and be very prayerful in selecting persons to this office.
When looking for Elder candidates, our Nominating Committee looks for the 5 “C”s:
OVERVIEW OF THE OFFICE OF DEACON
The ministry of the Deacons is one of sympathy and service. The office of Deacon as set forth in Scripture is one of compassion, concern for needs and serving others. The Board of Deacons is under the authority of the Church Session. Currently, Deacons will serve on either the Prayer Team or the Care Needs Team. The responsibilities of these team members are as follows:
As a member of the Prayer Team, you will receive written prayer requests weekly. You are asked to:
- Pray for these requests for one week. The requests come from the Sunday Service Communication Cards, emails, our website, app and other forms of internet contact.
- Where possible, send an email acknowledging that you prayed for their request. If an email is not possible, it is suggested that either a phone call be made or a note be mailed.
Care Needs Team:
As a member of the Crisis Team, you will be called on to minister to people and families in a variety of ways as determined by the details on the Care Needs Request and by your own knowledge and assessment of the situation. You may be required to:
- Contact those in need to offer your prayers and support
- Make personal visits to homes, convalescent centers, hospitals and funeral homes
- Send appropriate cards
- Follow up based on the length of the need
The Care Needs Requests are communicated electronically and require Deacons to use email and be trained on Ward’s MinistryPlatform web-based software.
In addition to being a member of either the Prayer Team or the Care Needs Team, all Deacons are required to:
- Support communion services twice per year by assisting with the preparation of the elements to be served and clean up of same following the distribution (approximately a two-hour commitment on a Communion Sunday). A sign-up sheet to schedule times and dates will be provided at the initial program year Deacon Board Meeting.
- Attend all Board Meetings. There are typically seven scheduled Monday evening meetings per year.
QUALIFICATIONS FOR DEACON
The EPC book of order states: “According to Scripture, those who bear this office should exhibit especially those spiritual qualities of the Christian, and should be earnest and wholehearted followers of Christ. They should be persons who are steady and reliable, well thought of by all. They should not be new in the faith and should be tested for faithfulness before election.” (Book of Order 10.8)
Spiritual gifts helpful for this office include:
REVIEW OF DEACON EXPECTATIONS
Deacons of Ward Church are asked to:
- Attend Deacon Board meetings
- Participate in Deacon training sessions
- Serve on either the Prayer Team or the Care Needs Team.
- Support the Communion Team by working with the team on two (2) communion Sundays per year. This entails the preparation of the elements for serving and cleanup afterwards.
OVERVIEW OF THE ROLE OF TRUSTEE
The ministry of the Trustees is one of provision. The Trustees enable the ministry of others by providing three important “tools” for ministry: facilities, finances, and legal affairs. Normally, the board of trustees is made up of men and women who have some expertise in these areas and who desire to advance the work of the church by providing these foundational elements.
- Facilities (building and property)
- Provide and maintain space buildings and grounds for growing ministry needs.
- Financial Systems
- Provide for a system of financial record keeping that is accurate and ethical.
- Advise the session in the development of an annual budget.
- Provide opportunities and counsel regarding special gifts (wills, bequests, stock transfer, etc.)
- Manage the investments of the church
- Assist in the stewardship education efforts of the church.
- Keep the session and the congregation informed regarding church finances.
- Legal Affairs
- Ensure that all dealings of the church comply with national, state, and local laws.
- Oversee issues of payroll and taxation.
- Secure Legal Representation as necessary
- Select and review Insurance Policies
QUALIFICATIONS FOR TRUSTEE
Trustees normally, but not always, possess experience or expertise in one of the following areas: business, accounting, construction, facility management, human resources, investments, money management, or law.
Helpful spiritual gifts for trustees include: administration, leadership, discernment, wisdom, and helps.
OVERVIEW OF THE NOMINATING COMMITTEE
Each year the Nominating Committee nominates from the congregation members who are qualified to serve the church on the Church Session (Board of Elders), the Board of Trustees, the Board of Deacons, and the Nominating Committee. Through a season of prayer, deliberation, and congregational recommendations, the Nominating Committee selects candidates according to biblical requirements, spiritual gifts, and ministry fit.
The Nominating Committee consists of at least 11 people (two elders, one Deacon, one trustee, and at least 7 members at large). The Pastor is an ex-officio member of the committee without vote.
QUALIFICATIONS FOR NOMINATING COMMITTEE
Nominating Committee members need to understand and support the vision of the church. They should be discerning, a good judge of character, and have the ability to recognize the giftedness of others. Nominating Committee members should be fully engaged in the life of the church and have contact with many other members. The best Nominating Committee members are “people who know people.”
Because choosing church officers is a spiritual decision, Nominating Committee members must be growing disciples of Jesus Christ with clear evidence of God’s transforming work in their life. They need to believe in and practice prayer, and be able to discern the leading of the Holy Spirit.